In all of the years I have been using computers I have never had a “turn key” system. I have always thought of them as too overpriced for what you get. Why pay someone else for something that I can do? However, before I needed to form my overall opinion of the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom I wanted to check this idea of mine out. Out of sheer curiosity I headed over to Newegg.com and decided to build this system and see how much it would cost to buy all of the parts individually. I have to say I was thoroughly shocked!
The above configuration is for the base model of the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom. You may have noticed there are two important parts of the build that are missing. The first is the NZXT Phantom case which looks like it is going to retail for $139.99 and is currently unavailable. That brings our total for the build up to $1422.90 and we are still missing the Asetek 570LX 240mm Liquid Cooling which I found for $199 out on the web. That brings the grand total $1621.90. That is above and beyond what it would cost to order the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom. Ordering the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom will actually save you more than $160.00 off the bat, add in the bundle of the keyboard and mouse and you are closer to $200+. To me that looks like a great deal. You can either pay more for all of the pieces or get a fully built, ready to rock set up. Makes it seem like an easy decision, doesn’t it?
The iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom we got to play with is a beast of a system. Coming out of the box, today’s system had a 25% overclock in place from the iBP Labs Level 3 Powerdrive Overclock. This gave the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom power to spare. The base specifications that we looked at on the first page of the article are impressive; once you upgrade the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom to the features you want, it will make it even better.
Once you take a look at the upgraded specifications above you can see that the value of the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom remains. Once we add the cost of the NZXT Phantom case and the liquid cooling we are at a total of ~$1950, which is slightly less than the system costs from iBUYPOWER. We have to keep in mind that we are also paying for the iBP Labs Level 3 overclock which is $99.00 and the iBP Labs Advanced Professional Wiring which is only $57.00 with all of the options.
The system configuration we were using did cost a little more, though it has quite a few upgrades. For the additional $540.00 you have an SLI system running a pair of PaLiT GeForce GTX 460’s, a 64GB Kingston SSDNow! V2 series MLC SSD, iBP Labs Advanced Professional Wiring and iBP Labs Level 3 Powerdrive Overclocking. We also were able to test this configuration with an Intel Core I7 970. While it is a great processor, it didn’t have a huge impact on any of the game benchmarks. It does have its advantages, though; the Intel Core I7 970 easily dominated the Intel Core I7 930 on any of the processor intensive tasks such as Cinebench R11.5, wPrime and the x264 HD Video Benchmark. I don’t have any doubts that we will begin to see games take more advantage of more and more threads in the future. Today, though, we just aren’t there yet. If you are the type of person who likes to stay on the cutting edge of technology or if you run a lot of heavily threaded apps the Intel Core I7 970 will speed these applications up tremendously and may be the processor for you. The upgrade to the Intel Core I7 970 is a costly $625.00, though it would be worth it depending on what you plan on doing with your iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom. No matter which configuration of the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom you decide on, you will have peace of mind knowing that your system is backed by a three year warranty and lifetime technical support!
Legit Bottom Line: The performance of the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom as we tested it today was top notch. Throw in the fact that the iBUYPOWER Paladin XLC Phantom can be purchased from iBUYPOWER for less than it would cost you to purchase all of the parts individually, and it’s a no brainer!